UW-Whitewater is offering free COVID-19 testing to anyone 5 years or older.
Click here for more information.
Walk-In Testing Facility | 1000 Madison Ave, Fort Atkinson
The facility currently offers the rapid test with results available within an hour of testing. Hours are Monday - Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm. Guests will need to bring their cell phone for registration, driver's license/form of ID and their insurance card if they have it. No appointments are needed.
WEDC’s Wisconsin Employer Vaccine Forum
Stop the COVID Spread! Coalition's Vaccine Encouragement Campaign Messaging Toolkit
If you are not feeling well, have flu-like symptoms, or suspect you may have been in contact with someone else who is exhibiting symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, we advise you to call your Primary Care Provider’s office to seek guidance on what steps to take.
Fort HealthCare is also offering screenings through e+Care online health care. Due to the highly contagious nature of this disease, it is not advised that you seek care at a hospital emergency department unless you are advised to do so by your healthcare provider.
SSM Health is offering Free Virtual Evaluations in the communities that they serve, which includes Fort Atkinson.
UW Health has an information hotline people can call:
Jefferson County Offering Digital Behavioral Health
Jefferson County is offering the online myStrength program for free to its residents. The program provides digital behavioral health solutions to empower individuals with engaging, clinically-proven resources.
There is also now a newly-released module specifically to help individuals with the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Click here to access the myStrengh website.
Click here to sign-up.
Enter "JeffersonCounty" as the access code
The module addresses issues such as depression, stress, chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia and more. Please utilize this FREE tool to help take care of your mental health needs!
Hopeline - Free Text-Based Emotional Support Service
Text HOPELINE to 741741 - from anywhere, anytime, about any challenge or struggle. Help and hope is just a text away.
Jefferson County Health Department
The Jefferson County Health Department’s website provides local information and resources for businesses and community members regarding the COVID-19 disease, including their priority areas for staying up to date on the subject, as well as suggestions for what you can do to stay safe and prevent the spread of the disease.
According to their site, the JCHD aims to prevent the spread of illness among the public by offering educational resources, communicable disease surveillance, and investigation when needed. Since January, their public health professionals have been hard at work preparing for and monitoring the coronavirus.
CDC: Preventing Spread
- Daycares and Schools
- Colleges and Universities
- Healthcare professionals
Kiva is an international nonprofit with a mission to expand financial access to help underserved communities thrive. Kiva lenders have shown their commitment to providing financial assistance to all by making 0% interest loans to entrepreneurs in the U.S. on Kiva.org for the last 10 years. In today’s difficult circumstances, we’d like to make it as easy and impactful as possible for small businesses in the U.S. to have access to affordable capital on the Kiva platform—capital that may be the difference between shutting down and keeping their doors open.
A number of telecommunications providers are offering free or low-cost internet access options for businesses affected by the pandemic. For more information, see the Wisconsin Public Service Commission website.
IRS Tax Relief
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a dedicated site with information for businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Learn more here.
Randy Schopen Foundation Grant Program
Grants will be provided to businesses and individuals in need through the application process on the Randy Schopen Web site. The Foundation reserves the right to accept or deny any applications based on internal criteria that the Foundation so deems. Amounts granted will be at the sole discretion of the Foundation depending on the need and number of applications received. Typically, the Foundation’s mission is to continue to support purposes that Randy Schopen would have supported.
Consideration for Preference – Applications will be considered for all of those in need. Preference will be given to those that meet the following criteria.
- Individuals or businesses in the Jefferson Community Foundation service area.
- Families with children under 18 years age.
- Senior Citizens or individuals with special health needs.
- Those that have been displaced or lost employment in the service sector. Particularly those that have worked in the restaurant and bar business.
The application process will have the option for the applicant to request funds confidentially for those with personal needs.
Local Financial Institution UpdatesBadger Bank (920) 563-2478A full list of resources is available here: https://www.badgerbank.bank/notice-details.htmlFort Community Credit Union – FCCU (920) 563-7305A full list of resources is available here: https://www.fortcommunity.com/notice-details.htmlJohnson Financial Group 920.568.5660Visit their website here: https://www.johnsonfinancialgroup.com/covid-19-coronavirus/PremierBank (920) 563-6616Visit their website here: https://www.bankwithpremier.com/
Direct Contacts at Local Financial InstitutionsBusiness & Tax Systems: Taylor Smithyman- Phone: 920-563-8089- Email: email@example.comFCCU: Joni Lundin- Phone: 920-563-7305- Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgJohnson Financial Group: Robert Cassiday- Phone: 920.568.5650- Email: email@example.comSBDC at UW-Whitewater: Kevin Kaufman- Phone: 262-472-1689- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Department of Workforce Development Grant Program Announcement
Workforce Equity Grants
The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) - Office of Skills Development (OSD) has released a new Workforce Equity Grants Program Announcement (GPA). Up to $577,350 in grant funds is available for proposals ranging from $5,000 to $400,000.
The purpose of this grant is to reimburse southeastern Wisconsin employers or consortiums comprised of employers and eligible workforce solutions providers for the expenses to design and to implement training programs and post-training support to under-served populations. Training programs should provide education, skills training, post-employment support, and placement in occupational training in high-demand occupations. Post-training positions must have a clear career path, identified advancement requirements, and should have minimum post-training wages of $15/hour.
This grant opportunity focuses on training workers of under-served origins in specific southeastern Wisconsin Workforce Development Areas (WDA) that exhibit racial and education disparities. Employers located in WDA 1-Southeast (Kenosha, Racine, and Walworth County) and WDA 2 (Milwaukee County) are eligible and highly encouraged to apply. For the purposes of this grant, under-served populations are defined as Black, Indigenous, people of color, women, and those that reside in WDA 1 and WDA 2.
Applications are due by 3 p.m. CST on Monday, October 4, 2021. For additional information or to download an application, please consult the Grant Program Announcement and related grant program materials at https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/det/
If you have questions regarding this announcement, contact Sara Tupper, Program and Policy Analyst at the 608-405-4425 or email@example.com
Main Street Bounce Back Grants - Applications Now Open!
The Main Street Bounceback Grants program provides $10,000 to new or existing businesses and non-profit organizations moving into vacant properties in Wisconsin’s downtowns and commercial corridors. The program is open to new or existing businesses opening a new location or expanding operations in a vacant commercial space as of January 1, 2021. Grant funds are available as part of the American Recovery Plan Act and will be distributed by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) regional partners. Businesses must apply through the partner organization for the region in which they are located.
Additional information about the Main Street Bounce Back Grants is available here: https://wedc.org/programs-and-resources/mainstreet-bounceback-grants/
Fort Atkinson Food Pantry
The Fort Atkinson Food Pantry is open during regular distribution hours of 3:00 to 5:30 PM on Mondays and Thursdays at the 715 Jones Avenue location. Their priorities are to continue to provide food to those in need while protecting clients and volunteers. To accomplish this they are changing their procedures to limit the number of clients in the food pantry at one time. They will be handing out numbers on a first come basis, but be prepared to wait outside or in cars until your number is admitted. Arriving later during the serving hours may avoid the initial crowd. Everyone will be able to get food. They are also requiring the use of hand sanitizer in the pantry and disinfecting surfaces frequently.
The Food Pantry realizes that some people may be temporarily out of work during this crisis. People who currently have no income or meet our low income guidelines and need help to provide enough food for themselves or their families are encouraged to seek assistance at the Food Pantry. The Food Pantry supplies supplemental food once per month per family. If your family requires additional food assistance before the end of the month, please call (920) 563-6992 and leave a message. If you are sick or vulnerable to the coronavirus please don’t come to the pantry building. They have a small program of delivery to those in need. Please text or leave a message at (920) 397-0140 if you want more information about the delivery program. The Fort Atkinson Food Pantry serves those who reside in the School District of Fort Atkinson. Residents of other school districts should call their local pantries.
Contact Information: (920) 563-6992, firstname.lastname@example.org
715 Jones Avenue
P. O. Box 275
Fort Atkinson, WI 53538
Feed Your Soul - First United Methodist Church
Feed Your Soul meals will be available for TAKEOUT ONLY on Thursday afternoons, starting March 26.
You must call to schedule your pick up time -- this will help manage the flow of traffic and keep the social distance that is necessary!
Call Jen at (920) 650-8288.
What you need to know:
• Meals will be entrée only
• Meals will be available on Thursday afternoons – by appointment only.
• People wanting a meal should call Jen at (920) 650-8288 to schedule pick up.
• Meals will be brought out to cars, they will not have anyone coming inside to pick up.
Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) of Jefferson County
Fully Cooked Meals Delivered to Your Door
Home Delivered Groceries & Meals
Jefferson County Human Services Foodshare Program
Emergency Food Resources During COVID-19
How to apply for unemployment in Wisconsin if you get laid off because of the coronavirus - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Unemployment COVID-19 Public Information - Frequently Asked Questions - Department of Workforce Development
Families First Coronavirus Response Act - U.S. Dept of Labor Wage and Hour Division
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) - Department of Workforce Development
PUA is a federal benefit available to workers who are unable to work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and do not qualify for Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI). This includes:
- Independent contractors
- Self-employed workers
- Non-profit employees
- Part-time workers who do not have enough work history to be eligible for a claim
Business Disruption Plan
Our employees and their families need to be safe. They also need jobs. How we as a community respond impacts both.
Your employees may not be elderly, have a chronic underlying condition (lung or heart disease or diabetes), or have a compromised immune system... But they may be the caregiver for someone who does.
Having a plan ensures your employees that you are acting in their best interest as well as the company’s.
Stage 1: Have a Plan
Create a Business Continuity Plan.
Conduct a focused discussion on your plan. Share it with your employees. Explain HR policies, workplace and leave flexibilities, and pay and benefits available to them. This plan helps workplaces map out how to provide essential services if a number of employees are sick or unavailable. Be sure your employees know what is expected of them. Your goal is to:
- Reduce transmission among staff
- Protect people who are at higher risk for adverse health complications
- Maintain business operations, and
- Minimize effects on other entities in your supply chain (vendors).
Ensure sick employees stay home.
Sick employees should not come to work. If employees come to work with symptoms, ask them to go home. Offer paid sick leave so staff do not have to decide between a paycheck and working while sick. Do not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare providers may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.
Prepare staff to work from home.
Equip staff with laptops and supplies needed to work from home. Cancel non-essential business travel, use conference calls and video conferencing in lieu of face-to-face meetings when possible.
Increase social distancing in the workplace.
Avoid crowded work settings, cancel business-related face-to-face meetings, space employees farther apart, cancel non-essential travel, promote working from home, and use staggered shifts to have fewer employees in the workplace at the same time.
Offer flexible leave policies.
Staff may need to stay home to care for sick household members or for children if schools are canceled. Make plans for staff to work from home or take leave.
Keep a well-stocked supply of tissues, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes. Place them in easy to access spots.
Encourage employees to keep these items at their desks too. CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. Only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it.
Place posters that encourage staying home when sick, cough and sneeze etiquette, and hand hygiene at the entrance to your workplace and in other work areas where they are likely to be seen.
Work with your cleaning staff to make sure workspaces are cleaned and disinfected frequently and correctly.
- Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
- No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time.
- Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.
In businesses, custodial staff should use disinfectants and sanitizers regularly only in high-risk areas – bathrooms, cafeterias, kitchens, drinking fountains, sink and door handles, shared workstations; preferably, when employees are not present. Follow the disinfectant/sanitizer label directions; overuse does not provide any additional protection and can expose employees to harmful chemicals. Follow the label directions. If disinfecting is targeted against a microbe causing a specific illness (e.g. influenza, Norovirus, COVID-19, etc.) then use an EPA registered disinfectant that is certified as effective against that organism. The Selected EPA – Registered Disinfectants webpage list is located here. >>
Stage 2: Share Best Practices
Your company’s plan is only as strong
- as your neighboring company
- your personal neighbor
- your customers and vendors entering your business
- your supply chain (if they can’t operate, you can’t operate),
- your spouse and their employer, and
- the greater community.
Please share your plan with us, your Chamber of Commerce, and your vendors. Click here to email us >>
Stage 3: COVID Suspected, In, or Near the Workplace
[Applies only to a non-healthcare workplace]
Positive Testing Employee
If an employee has tested positive for COVID-19, they should remain under home isolation precautions for 7 days OR until 72 hours after fever is gone and symptoms get better, whichever is longer. Inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
Sick Employee, Not-Positive-COVID-19
If an employee has had a fever with cough or shortness of breath but has not been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and has not tested positive for COVID-19, they should stay home away from others until 72 hours after the fever is gone and symptoms get better.
Employee Sick at Work
CDC recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately. Sick employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available).
Well-Employee But Positive-COVID-19 Family Member
The employee should notify their supervisor and refer to CDC guidance on how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure. Family medical leave or other legal contracts may apply.
Employee Returned from a COVID-19-spreading area
The employee should monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days and take their temperature twice a day. If they develop even a mild cough or low-grade fever they should stay at home and self-isolate. This means avoiding close contact (three feet or nearer) with other people, including family members. They should also call their healthcare provider or the local public health department, giving them details of their recent travel and symptoms.
Stage 4: Outbreak Response
- Identify possible work-related exposure and health risks to your employees. OSHA has more information on how to protect workers from potential exposures to COVID-19.
- Review human resources policies to make sure that policies and practices are consistent with public health recommendations and are consistent with existing state and federal workplace laws (for more information on employer responsibilities, visit the Department of Labor’s and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s websites).
- Explore whether you can establish policies and practices, such as flexible worksites (e.g., telecommuting) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts), to increase the physical distance among employees and between employees and others if state and local health authorities recommend the use of social distancing strategies. For employees who are able to telework, supervisors should encourage employees to telework instead of coming into the workplace until symptoms are completely resolved. Ensure that you have the information technology and infrastructure needed to support multiple employees who may be able to work from home.
- Identify essential business functions, essential jobs or roles, and critical elements within your supply chains (e.g., raw materials, suppliers, subcontractor services/products, and logistics) required to maintain business operations. Plan for how your business will operate if there is increasing absenteeism or these supply chains are interrupted.
- Set up authorities, triggers, and procedures for activating and terminating the company’s infectious disease outbreak response plan, altering business operations (e.g., possibly changing or closing operations in affected areas), and transferring business knowledge to key employees. Work closely with your local health officials to identify these triggers.
- Plan to minimize exposure between employees and also between employees and the public, if public health officials call for social distancing.
- Establish a process to communicate information to employees and business partners on your infectious disease outbreak response plans and latest COVID-19 information. Anticipate employee fear, anxiety, rumors, and misinformation, and plan communications accordingly.
- In some communities, early childhood programs and K-12 schools may be dismissed, particularly if COVID-19 worsens. Determine how you will operate if absenteeism spikes from increases in sick employees, those who stay home to care for sick family members, and those who must stay home to watch their children if dismissed from school. Businesses and other employers should prepare to institute flexible work and leave policies for these employees.
- Local conditions will influence the decisions that public health officials make regarding community-level strategies; employers should take the time now to learn about plans in place in each community where they have a business.
- If there is evidence of a COVID-19 outbreak in the US, consider canceling non-essential business travel to additional countries per travel guidance on the CDC website.
- Travel restrictions may be enacted by other countries which may limit the ability of employees to return home if they become sick while on travel status.
- Consider canceling large work-related meetings or events.
- Engage state and local health departments to confirm channels of communication and methods for dissemination of local outbreak information. When working with your local health department check their available hours.
ALWAYS: Plan for Business Disruption
From the Small Business Development Center
- Capital Access – Incidents can strain a small business’s financial capacity to make payroll, maintain inventory, and respond to market fluctuations (both sudden drops and surges in demand). Businesses should prepare by exploring and testing their capital access options so they have what they need when they need it. See SBA’s capital access resources.
- Workforce Capacity – Incidents have just as much impact on your workers as they do your clientele. It’s critical to ensure they have the ability to fulfill their duties while protected.
- Inventory and Supply Chain Shortfalls – While the possibility could be remote, it is a prudent preparedness measure to ensure you have either adequate supplies of inventory for a sustained period and/or diversify your distributor sources in the event one supplier cannot meet an order request.
- Facility Remediation/Clean-up Costs – Depending on the incident, there may be a need to enhance the protection of customers and staff by increasing the frequency and intensity by which your business conducts cleaning of surfaces frequently touched by occupants and visitors. Check your maintenance contracts and supplies of cleaning materials to ensure they can meet increases in demand.
- Insurance Coverage Issues – Many businesses have business interruption insurance. Now is the time to contact your insurance agent to review your policy to understand precisely what you are and are not covered for in the event of an extended incident.
- Changing Market Demand – Depending on the incident, there may be access controls or movement restrictions established which can impede your customers from reaching your business. Additionally, there may be public concerns about public exposure to an incident and they may decide not to go to your business out of concern of exposing themselves to greater risk. SBA’s Resources Partners and District Offices have trained experts who can help you craft a plan specific to your situation to help navigate any rapid changes in demand.
- Marketing – It’s critical to communicate openly with your customers about the status of your operations, what protective measures you’ve implemented, and how they (as customers) will be protected when they visit your business. Promotions may also help incentivize customers who may be reluctant to patronize your business.
- Plan – As a business, bring your staff together and prepare a plan for what you will do if the incident worsens or improves. It’s also helpful to conduct a tabletop exercise to simulate potential scenarios and how your business management and staff might respond to the hypothetical scenario in the exercise. For examples of tabletop exercises, visit FEMA’s website at https://www.fema.gov/emergency-planning-exercises
According to Jefferson County Human Services, individuals can call the number below to be connected with resources for the Foodshare program, energy assistance and more.
United Way - Utilize the 2-1-1 Service!
United Way’s 211 information and referral service is preparing for increased call volume due to the pandemic. If you are in need of services, dial 211 or text your zip code to 898-211 to be connected to someone who can help. In anticipation of increased call volume, you can also access resources by clicking here to visit the 211 website.